formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh Yes, She Did...

Customer service today sucks. It really does. And it’s so frustrating. I am the nicest customer you would ever want to meet. Seriously. I’ve worked in service industries my whole life, since I was 12 and I waited tables in my parents’ restaurant. I was a corporate trainer for a long time and a district and operations manager for a retail company, too, so not only have I worked the front lines, I’ve trained the front lines. And I took that job seriously. I believe in service - in good service. I believe in rewarding it... I tip big, I compliment people when they do a good job, and I let managers know when I’m treated well. I truly believe everyone should work at least one year in a restaurant or retail job in order to fully understand just how hard those jobs are. I know I’ve never forgotten what it’s like to work my butt off for next to no money, waiting on rude cretins who think people in service positions are sub-human. It’s why I’m the nicest customer in the world.

But every now and then I meet a customer service ‘professional’ who actually is sub-human. And when that happens, I don’t handle it well. I don’t handle it well at all.

I was seriously craving a Diet Coke today. Though I gave it up a couple of months ago, I sort of fell off the wagon when I was in London. I haven’t had many since I got back but today wasn’t a great day and I just needed one, you know? So I drove through a burger place on my way to pick Ryan up from school and I ordered a medium Diet Coke… as usual. It took forever to get it, which aggravated me, as it was all I ordered. Normally I taste my drink before I drive away so I can get them to fix it if they made a mistake. I didn’t this time, so when I realized I had a regular Coke, I pulled into a parking space and went in. The girl who waited on me was talking on her phone (which is probably why it took so long to get my drink in the first place)… Strike ONE. She saw me and actually turned around to finish her call… Strike TWO. I excused myself (yeah, like that should have been necessary) and she turned back around, rolled her eyes, and told the person on the other end of the phone to hold on… oh yeah, Strike THREE.

Me: Hi (still actually trying to be my normally pleasant self). I ordered a Diet Coke and I got regular.
Her: (Looking put out) No, you ordered regular.
Me: Ummm… no, I ordered diet.

Now, at this point she should have just said, “Sorry. I’ll get you a Diet Coke now.” But she didn’t. Oh no, she didn't.

Her: (In a snotty ‘you must not have heard me’ tone) Ummm (yes, she mimicked me)… no, you ordered regular (emphasis on the ‘regular’).

Oh yes, she did. You know how you can feel ‘it’ rising? Yeah, ‘it’ rose.

Me: OK (deep breath here… ramping up). Look… Sweetheart (and you know how you can say ‘sweetheart’ in a very not nice way? Yeah, that’s how I said it). I am 43 years old. I have been drinking diet soda since I was 13. In 30 years, I have never ordered a regular soda. EVER. I hate regular soda. I cannot drink it. I haven’t had one since they invented TAB, which was long before you were born. I did not order a regular Coke today. I ordered a Diet Coke. I know this because I have ordered a diet soda EVERY DAMNED TIME I have ordered a soda for the last 30 years. You, Sweetheart (yes, the not-nice way again) made a mistake. I don’t know whether you didn’t hear me, or you pushed the wrong button on the register, or you’re just stupid. And you know what? I don’t care. I know what I ordered. I ordered a Diet Coke. And I want my Diet Coke now. And we both know that you’re going to get me my Diet Coke whether you believe you made a mistake or not. Because that, Sweetheart (yup, not nice) is the way it works.

Then, without another word, shooting me a look that said she SO wanted to swear at me (or punch me in the face), she grabbed my cup, dumped the regular soda out (spilling a lot of it on the floor), and filled it with Diet Coke. And I watched closely, just to be sure she didn’t spit in it. On my way out I got out my cell phone and dialed the owner of the store, whose number was posted on a sign that said, “Excellent customer service is our goal! Let us know how we’re doing!” Naturally, no one answered. Yeah, customer service today sucks.

19 comments:

Jo-Jo said...

I would soooo keep dialing that number until someone answered!

joshlos said...

You did better than I would've. And certainly better than I would've *wanted* to do. Reading this story, the thought that came to my mind would've been to pull the lid off the Coke she gave you and then splash it on her after mocking you. Would I have done that, though? Probably not. But as someone who worked fast food once upon a time, I never did, and I would never have acted like she did to you.

Diane said...

Jo-Jo... I will keep calling, no worries. I know when I was a manager, I always wanted to know if there was a problem. So I speak up.

Joshlos... I was mad, no doubt. I wanted to smack her, truth be told (I was in a bit of a mood to begin with). But I had my say, I got what I ordered, and I'll make sure I speak to someone higher up (even if it does no good). That's about the best you can do, really.

Shanna said...

Good for you for sticking to your guns! Seriously those people make me want to scream. I just don't get it. In 'my day' (HA!) I would have crawled under a rock and died before I would have talked to an adult like that.

Lee said...

Look, stop pussy-footing around. You should have killed her. Justifiable homicide. Not a jury in the world would have convicted you.

Protege said...

I think the bad thing about an experience like this is that it leaves you with an unpleasant feeling of not just being mistreated, but being forced to be unpleasant back. I hate when that happens. But with that said, it is important not to let people push you around.;)

Diane said...

You know the worst thing? I used the 'before you were born' card... and that just makes me feel OLD... and that just REALLY pisses me off!

Stu Pidasso said...

Most definitely keep calling. We don't EVER reward bad behavior with benefits, and letting this slide would be her benefit. as much as some of your posts hit me hard, I like them. GB!!

Miss Caught Up said...

Wow!! YOU GO GIRL!!! :) I'm with you about customer service. I have been a waitress and have worked in retail before and I always try to be courteous to staffers, but there's always that one person who just... defies the meaning of "good" customer service. :(

Heather said...

Good grief! You handled yourself very well! While I haven't ever worked fast food, I did work at Wal-Mart for three years through college, and spent my last year of school working as an assitant manager at a clothing store in my college town. I would NEVER have talked to a customer like that, whether I made a mistake or not. You apologize, give the customer what they want, and thank them for being patient. That's just how it works! If you want the customer to be happy and RETURN to spend more money, you treat them kindly. Not like an ignorant...well you know the rest. :)

LazyCrazyMama said...

OMG!! That totally sucks!! But how awesome that you stood up for yourself :) You rock!! :)

Heinous said...

Woo hoo! Good work. Bad service demands in-kind payment.

Diane said...

Update... I got through to the owner of the franchise a little while ago. He told me that she'd already told him about the incident, though her story didn't QUITE match up to mine. HOWEVER, there happened to be a man in the dining room who also had a problem with little Miss Sunshine and when he called to complain about her, he relayed the details of MY story as well. It seems these were not the only two complaints lodged against Sunshine (shock and surprise!) and she has now been relieved of her spiffy polyester uniform and name tag. Getting her fired was not what I was after, but I figure you reap what you sow, right? And she was sowing some seriously bad Karma.

La Pixie said...

Im sooooooo glad you said something!! Ive worked a lot in the service industry, and when I see someone just blatantly giving BAD service... it makes my blood boil.

and, I tagged you on my blog.

hautepocket said...

Do I need to hire a hitman? I know poeple.

Mel said...

Oh my gosh! She was fired? Well, that's fewer people who will have to deal with her snotty attitude! Good on ya! Maybe she'll learn a lesson. Or else she'll just keep doing the same thing over and over and over...

Sam_I_am said...

I'm waitressing and bartending to pay for my wedding (in addition to working my career) and I am ALWAYS nice to service people, unless the totally deserve otherwise.

Michelle said...

The part I wonder about is how did she learn that that kind of behavior was even remotely ok. And how many other people think so? And in what jobs will those people earn money in five or ten years? And how screwed are we all then? Bleh!

Red Cup Mom said...

WOW! Two complaints about the same Miss Sunshine in the same day? That's the ticket outta there in the owner's eyes. Good thing you called. It's hard to have to teach life lessons to others sometimes. I learned a long time ago to smile and fix the problem. It's so much easier!